What’s on my kindle

I promise there will be new Tom and Hattie soon, and even some other blog posts, but I’ve been away and busy and ill, and for now these are the easiest posts to write.

There has been more Jilly Cooper: Polo has been this week’s read. More horses, more ludicrous puns, more outrageous characters. Fab.

There is going to be more Betty Neels, following Liz’s mention of Cassandra by Chance.

And, since it is about to be March, there are going to be some new books: Annie West’s Captive in the Spotlight is first on the list.

I’m not going to be buying Katie Fforde’s latest, having been disappointed with most of her recent books. Nor will I be getting Janet Mullany’s Improper Relations, newly out on Kindle – I know many people love her style, but it’s just not for me.

What’s on your reading list this week?

What’s on my kindle

RUPERT CAMPBELL-BLACK IS ON MY KINDLE.

Oh, yes.

Riders and Rivals in a joint edition for less than a fiver? I THINK SO. Also The Man Who Made Husbands Jealous for £2.50. I am three quarters of the way through Rivals and I shall then go back and read Riders, and then The Man Who Made Husbands Jealous.

Earlier this week I also re-read several of the Bad Blood Collection (aka Notorious Wolfes). My reviews for several of these books are here. I still think this is the best M&B continuity series I’ve read and almost all of the books are excellent or very good.

What’s on my Kindle

Mostly Betty Neels old favourites including: A Winter Love Story, Year’s Happy Ending, A Girl To Love, A Kiss for Julie. I hesitate to say that if you’ve read one, you’ve read them all, but it is almost true. They are incredibly comforting books set in a world that never really existed where capable young women with no qualifications get jobs advertised in The Lady and rich professors and doctors marry them. Falling in love is as likely to happen after marriage as before. They are books which are wholly free from POV considerations and she meanders happily from head to head. Usually, though, we get very little insight into the hero’s perspective so that we remain almost as clueless as the heroines right up until the penultimate page. Betty Neels wrote the trad Regencies of contemporary romance – no sex, not even a hint, not even after marriage. I am not precisely sure why, but I also think her characters live in the same world as Jilly Cooper’s.

I also read a dreadful Regency freebie novella, The Winter Wish by Jillian Eaton. Everything I most dislike about historical novels – inattention to period detail, language and most of all, social conventions. Also an extremely irritating heroine. If you have been in love with someone for seven years without so much as plucking up the courage to exchange two words with him, you do NOT deserve your happy ending. Ugh. And to add insult to injury, the author thinks that the correct spelling is ‘per say’. I have no idea whether this book had a copyeditor or not (it’s not self-published), but that is inexcusable. It’s no longer free, and I would say that this is not worth its current price of 77p.

Inspired by my trip to London last week, I also re-read Abby Green’s wonderful Bride in a Gilded Cage. I love the tango scenes in this book so much.

What’s on my kindle this week

I almost forgot about this, because I have been away for a couple of days and it isn’t yet enough of a routine to be a habit. So I’ve got about 10 days’ worth of reading to catch up on.

Sold to the Enemy by Sarah Morgan
I’ve loved almost every book I’ve read by Morgan and this one is no exception. In fact, it prompted a re-read of a couple of old favourites of hers, The Sultan’s Virgin Bride and Doukakis’s Apprentice. She always writes strong, interesting heroines who challenge their heroes. The heroine in Sold to the Enemy has had to put up with more than most and she totally deserves the happy ending.

In the Heat of the Spotlight by Kate Hewitt
I’ve been waiting for this since I read an early version of the first chapter nearly a year ago, and it didn’t disappoint. Deeply emotional and deeply satisfying. Loved it.

Ozma of Oz by L. Frank Baum
The complete Oz chronicles were on Amazon for some ridiculously cheap price. I started with this one because, other than the Wizard of Oz, it’s the only one I remember from childhood. Lovely. A bit scary but always a guaranteed happy ending, so it’s nice, safe reading. There’s a bit in this one that reminds me of The Silver Chair, though I’ve no idea which was written first or if there was any actual influence.

Hired: The Sheikh’s Secretary by Lucy Monroe
Another re-read. I do love a clueless sheikh and an ugly duckling secretary, and these two are perfect.

When Two Paths Meet
and Roses and Champagne by Betty Neels
There are times when only Betty Neels will do and today was one of those days. A sweeter, safer world, these are like traditional Regencies set in 1980’s England (or Holland).

That’s what I’ve been reading. What about you?

What’s on my Kindle

I am officially throwing in the towel as a book reviewer for the moment. I just don’t have the mental energy for it. But what I thought I would try and do instead is a weekly round up of what I’ve been reading: what I’ve loved, what I’ve hated, what I’m looking forward to, and so on.

This week I’ve been reading:

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
I bought this ages ago when it was 20p at Amazon. I have not really understood the current fashion for adults reading YA books but many people had raved about this one, so I thought I’d give it a go. I almost gave up halfway through, bored of all the teenage angst. I did eventually finish it, but I will not be reading any more (especially since the next book in the series features my least favourite character from this one). Two major reasons I did not like this book: it’s written in 1st person and the heroine is called Echo. YMMV.

Three Nights with a Scoundrel
by Tessa Dare
I really loved the first in this series, I quite liked the second, and then I put off reading this one for ages. But I’m glad I did get round to it. There are some beautiful moments and both main characters truly deserved their happy ending.

The Mischief of the Mistletoe
by Lauren Willig
Could not get past the first chapter. Regency young ladies did not generally go round saying, ‘No worries’.

Thursdays in the Park by Hilary Boyd
Another 20p bargain. I’m struggling with it, to be honest, and wish I hadn’t been seduced by the pretty cover. It’s women’s fiction, rather than romance, about a couple in a miserable marriage, who are on the point of retirement. It’s going to be an adultery and divorce novel. But there is an unexplained event in the first chapter and I admit I am curious to know what prompted it, so I will probably finish it.

How to Misbehave by Ruthie Knox
Here is the plot of this book: unlikely couple have great sex; unlikely couple decide they aren’t a good match; they change their minds. Here’s why you should read it: great banter; cute characters; a gorgeous builder in well-fitted jeans. For 69p, what more could you want?

I also downloaded Control by Charlotte Stein because it was free and people were saying good things about her. I read two chapters then deleted it. Cute hero, but the book is in 1st person and I really didn’t like the heroine enough to listen to her going on about sex (real and imagined) for a whole book. I wished she’d think about something more interesting for at least a few minutes every day. I may not be the target audience for this book.

In the next week I’m looking forward to new releases from several autobuy authors: Sarah Morgan, Kate Hewitt and Caitlin Crews all have February M&B Moderns out on the 1st and Anne Gracie has a new historical out on the 5th.

What have you been reading, loving or loathing this week?

How do you read?

Ten years ago, maybe even five, this wasn’t even a question. Books were books and you read them. Now people read via ereaders, tablets, phones and all sorts of other techy ways. And paper, of course.

My medium of choice is my kindle. I really, really love it. It’s light, small, easy on the eyes, and doesn’t have the inbuilt distraction of the internet. If you desperately need the internet, it does include an experimental browser, but it’s hard work. It’s like reading a paper book but much more convenient.

My second choice option is my phone. Mostly I only use this if I’m waiting somewhere and didn’t bring my kindle. I can access all my kindle books and read them on it. The screen is small and bright. It’s easy to use for short periods of time but not as a primary reading device.

Third choice is paper books. I am shocked by this. I thought I would be a die-hard paper book fan, and indeed there are a fair number of paper books in my house. Almost all my new purchases are digital, though, and I actually find reading on the kindle easier. I only need one hand and turning pages is less intrusive if I’m knitting or something.

What I don’t have and don’t want is a tablet. I have a laptop for work and a netbook that I like to use for travel or in bed, and so on. It’s small enough to fit in my handbag, but has a proper keyboard and all the normal software that I use. I often use it, rather than the big laptop, for writing on, because it doesn’t require me to be sitting at a desk.

Sadly, it seems likely that both the ereader and the netbook are going to become victims of the tablet’s success. And in theory, I can see why. It would fulfil many of the functions that my kindle and netbook have. But I can’t see myself enjoying using one as much as I enjoy them. The kindle is designed for only one thing – reading books – and it is brilliantly designed for that. The netbook is multi-functional and more useful to me than a tablet. I don’t want the compromise option that does everything a little bit worse.

What about you? How do you prefer to read?

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